Whirligig 1

1 Whirl

I have a suitcase full of birdsongs
and parables that shave fathoms
from the cracks in my cardiac skeins.
However, careful I keep running
into the same exhausted disputes.

Your smile is only a shrug,
and I think I might have missed it.
When I have had enough
I am sure to want for something else,
this is what it means to be human.

Fruit of God, fruit proffered by Lucifer
I eat of your sodden flesh
but my eyes do not open.
Surely there can be no crime
in a trusting nature, in a chance given.
I am a war, two feet pounding the earth.
Who, if not myself, can I save?

I wasn’t sure I’d be able to write today. Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I suffer with PTSD. One of my triggers is waking to find someone standing at my bedroom door or waking to find that someone has entered my bedroom unexpectedly (my dad used to sneak into my room and molest me). I am a fairly light sleeper and so often I hear my daughter when she gets up well before she gets to our room. On hearing her I wake and I remind myself as she approaches that it is only Isadora. I still feel a sense of dread/agitation but so long as I am awake I can keep my shit reasonably together. The problem is when I don’t hear her coming up, when I am in a dead sleep and all of a sudden the door opens. That happened last night. I totally lost it. I was in a very deep sleep and I couldn’t even open my eyes though I could clearly hear someone was in the room. In my mind it felt like I was in a very long tunnel and I was fighting to reach the light at the end. I heard a scream, a horrible scream but I didn’t know I was the one screaming and so I started screaming louder. My heart was pounding, I was sweating profusely, and my whole body just filled with adrenalin. I was honestly terrified, it wasn’t a normal fear, it was a bone-scrapping, blood-curdling terror. I lay in bed for a while sort of trapped in a nightmare. When I did get up to go to the bathroom I felt extremely dizzy, I couldn’t even stand. The dizziness and the adrenalin sickness has continued all day. I was able to talk to Isadora this morning about what happened. It has happened before and she seems to understand that I am not screaming at her, that I am not angry or anything.

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20 responses to “Whirligig 1

  1. Oh this breaks my heart, Yves–I’m so sorry it gets this bad sometimes. My symptoms are less severe, and I’m blessed to be going longer periods between episodes. xxoo, Stella

  2. I understand PTSD and how difficult may be for others to see what happens during those triggering moments. It is great you can talk to your daughter about it and for her to understand.

    • It is Hector I am the sort who must be okay, I don’t want people to know I am not okay, even when I try to open up in therapy I am still okay and it so counter productive sometimes having that massive wall

  3. It’s a brilliant poem Yves. Lovely imagery.

    As for the nightmare and triggers – and the severity – clearly this is not good – at all – and the fact that it takes you so long to recover to at least some semblance of “normal” or steadier grounding is more than difficult.

    IT’s unfortunate that something so simple as Izzie needing or wanting to come to you can cause such a violent reaction – but then as you know, your subconscious, conscious and body, as well as your spirit has stored so much that you have suffered, and is trying to insure that you protect yourself; this is clearly a freeze, fight or flight instinctual reaction – and she is at the other end. At the very least, if she knows it has nothing to do with her, then this is a good thing – because I suspect it is nothing short of a shocking reaction for her too, to see and witness this. As long as you can keep the lines of communication open with her, then perhaps you can come to some sort of arrangement that might prevent this type of thing from happening. It can’t be easy – I mean who knows what you’re dreaming etc. but clearly, whatever is going on, besides the trigger of “being preyed upon when sleeping” is something that, well, as you know, live and breathe, is demanding your attention.

    I hope you can slowly and gently find some peace with this. And that everyone is okay – you, Izzie and your hubby too. Sending you lots of light and hugs Yves.

    • It is so weird Pat because I thought I’d been doing better but Sam says that he wakes me up in advance of her coming into the room (if of course he happens to wake up) so I have time to realize what is happening. So he will hold me/comfort me so I feel safe but I didn’t realize he’d been doing it. I sleep very heavily in the middle of the night. So heavily that when I was in hospital they actually brought in crash carts. I literally sleep like the dead so it is very disorienting for me to be woken up.

      While I can’t for obvious reasons tell her all about my past. I do take great care to explain to her that it isn’t her fault and that she hasn’t done anything wrong. We talk a lot actually. She has two parents with severe Depression and trauma so there is a lot of talking. She is so brave and sociable that girl.

      • That really is quite something Yves! Wow – so you are unawares of the help and comfort being offered ….. if Sam realizes and wakes ahead of time …. and still, you are either reacting or non-reacting because you are so deeply asleep …. I’ve been in that situation a few times myself …. but not involving the extreme fright and disorientation you experience.

        I guess that the important thing is that you are able to speak about it – without going into all the details clearly – and so at least, there is some understanding on Izzie’s part. I suspect she must know and understand that sometimes when one is so deeply asleep and dreaming, then these type of unintentional interruptions can cause great upset. As long as she knows she is still safe and is comfortable discussing things with you and Sam, then you are far and ahead of many parents who just can’t and won’t, for whatever reasons, take time to explain or reassure etc.

      • She comes in despite the screaming and snuggles up. She doesn’t need much after a nightmare just a hug and sometimes to tell us what it was that she was dreaming that upset her. We didn’t want to be because I said so kind of parents we want to explain things and to talk about our feelings instead of bottling them up. It is quite a challenge with children because of language limitations and a lack of emotional maturity but we are getting there and she is expressing herself better and better. She was always very compassionate.

  4. Very nice poem. I hope you can find what’s wants to resurface while your awake. You have a difficult thing to overcome. You didn’t get that way overnight, so it’ll take time to get past it all. Good luck Yves

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